We are delighted to announce that Let Toys Be Toys has won the Progressive Preschool 2013 Marketing Award for our campaign against sexism in toy retail.
We were really pleased to have have won the marketing category, as unlike conventional marketing departments with huge budgets, Let Toys Be Toys is a grassroots campaign, run on a shoestring budget with donations from supporters and the campaigners themselves.
As Let Toys Be Toys campaigns against the limiting way in which toys are marketed to our children, winning a marketing award is wonderfully ironic too, and we’re delighted at the recognition that the Let Toys Be Toys campaign has caused a stir in the toy industry.
Said Jacqui Parr of Progressive Preschool Magazine, “We were delighted to be able to give the award to Let Toys Be Toys. To see the way the campaign has grown over the last year has been absolutely phenomenal. For a volunteer-run campaign with such limited funds, their achievements are absolutely incredible. The award itself was judged by publicity and marketing industry experts. Let Toys Be Toys were up against six-figure campaigns; for a grassroots group to excel here shows the merits of the campaign and we are pleased we’re able to recognise them in the market.”
The following is an excerpt from our award entry:
Gendered stereotyping in the toy industry is significant and has increased in recent years. With the growth of media, marketing and advertising opportunities, the blurring of the program/advertisement distinction and related merchandising, children are exposed to marketing messages today like never before. In-store, both gender-targeted and also toys intended by the manufacturer to be gender-neutral are often sold under “girls” or “boys” signs, and/or underneath pictures of girls or boys in poses which support stereotypes. Shelving may also be colour-coded to denote gendered areas.
There is a growing backlash among parents and other shoppers against the use of gender-stereotyping in toys. Let Toys Be Toys taps into that existing groundswell of consumer opinion.
The Let Toys Be Toys campaign demonstrates what can be done with sheer dedication. The campaign has brought about real and measurable change, achieved by volunteers with no budget, using social media as the driving force. A small team with some basic design skills and well-constructed arguments have fought for, and achieved, commitments from several major UK retailers to change the way they market toys to children. Let Toys Be Toys have worked hard to raise awareness around gender stereotypes in the toyshop, received international news coverage along the way and gained the support of thousands of shoppers.
We would like to dedicate this award to all our supporters, who have helped to tell major retailers in no uncertain terms that pushing sexist stereotypes at our children is simply not acceptable in the 21st century.